24.

If my 24th year of life is as good as the birthday itself, then it’s going to be one for the books. Surrounded by some of the sweetest most thoughtful people, we brought in my birthday with a wine tasting/pairing party, calling the theme “Wine tasting in Napa”. From meats/cheeses and dips to chocolate covered everything and girl scout cookies, we had a plethora of both traditional and slightly unusual pairing options to choose from, all centered around a bohemian inspired decoration spread. Multiple wine glasses were broken throughout the night (precisely why I buy dollar store glasses for parties), so obviously good (and tipsy) times were being had. I woke up the next morning (my actual birthday) and went to a bottomless mimosa brunch downtown with friends, followed by an evening well spent with my family and an absolutely delicious chocolate cheesecake made by my Nona. The weekend was a dream, and I can’t help but feel like one of the luckiest most blessed girls on the planet. Thank you thank you thank you to all that played any part in making it special.

Cheers,

The Whine Connoisseur.

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Camp Liam

With each passing year, I discover more and more that all of those older folk who approached my big pregnant belly saying things like:

“time flies by in the blink of an eye!”

and

“You’ll be sending that kid to college before you know it!”

….they were all right. Just two years ago on this day, I was on my way to the hospital to bring our little guy into the world. Now I sit here trying to throw together a blog post as my toddler runs around the house saying “help me! help me!” about every tiny little obstacle he comes across. My 6.5 pound baby is now capable of putting on his own shoes, verbally communicating what he wants, and riding a scooter across the park… and man is it crazy to watch sometimes.

To celebrate the big T-W-O we threw our little guy a camping themed birthday party, complete with a teepee, ‘Camp Liam” banner, and all of his favorite people. Being the obsessed and slightly overly organized party planner that I am, this party was in the makes for at least 4 months. I have surfed every pinterest board, every etsy deal, and made about 10 lists full of ideas to say the least.

What ultimately brought me to the decision of a camping theme was the over all ease of it. Camping is simple, laid back, and always a good time (unless you’re camping in the actual woods and forget one of your necessities or get attacked by mosquitoes). All we had to do was throw up a camping shade, put out some camping chairs, and fire up the grill and bam… Camp Liam was open for business.
The party took a lot of prepping and planning but was 100% worth it. Liam had a great time, was left with some awesome toys, and was absolutely exhausted by the end of it all…so I would say: mission accomplished.

Tonight we will put our one year old down for bed, and tomorrow we will wake up with a two year old jumping up and down as we attempt to get him ready for his big adventure to the children’s discovery museum. At some point in the day I’m sure that I will stare at my baby’s newborn photos and probably get embarrassingly teary eyed, but ultimately be comforted by my little man will running up to me and giving me a big sloppy kiss as he wraps his arms around my neck saying “ma-ma!”. It will be a grand and exciting day as we celebrate two years of time on this earth, two years of memories, and two years of our world being shaken up in the greatest of ways.

Happy Birthday to my two year old.

Cheers,

The Whine Connoisseur

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02.24.15: A february update.

I should probably change my blog’s description to “occasional blogger”, since clearly blogging consistency is just not my thing. It’s not that I haven’t tried, really. It’s just that this afternoon my son woke up literally the SECOND I sat down to work on this post. Yesterday my small amount of ‘free time’ (if that’s what you would call it) was taken up doing the backed up dirty dishes in the sink and being taught by my sweet but very bossy Italian grandpa how to ‘properly’ cook chicken. The day before that was meal prep day and the day before that was errand running day and the day before that was pretend you didn’t wait until last minute to do all of your homework day and the day before that I told myself I would write this blog post no matter what… until my son decided he should dive all over my laptop… and the day before that we were on a last minute business trip in Santa Barbara. You get the gist. As much as I would love to sit down and provide updates and stories and recipe ideas and advice and all of the other fun and adorable things that super mom bloggers write about… I just have not had the time, and probably will continue to not have the time until this semester of school comes to an end.

So here we are, several long weeks since my last post. Our time has been spent partly trying not to think about the hamburgers that we could be eating instead of the turkey vegetable patties that we are actually eating. We continue to work out 6 days a week (mostly) and as exhausting as it has been, we have found much success with the p90x3 workout routine. Now personally down 12 pounds, and my husband down another 15 or so, we are finally seeing the progress that felt so far away just two short months ago. Adding green tea to our nightly routine has seemed to make a big difference in our fat burning ability and getting to bed at an earlier hour has made an incredible difference both mentally and physically. I have picked up a love and appreciation for essential oils, and although I am still stumbling my away around which oil to use for what, at least the oil diffuser makes our house smell pretty freaking good in the meantime. Keeping our goals in mind, we are pushing along. Between the focus on our healthy lifestyle and our focus on both finishing up school, we are left with very limited free time. My husband is just one class away from taking his real estate licensing exam and all that we seem to be able to think about are the exciting new adventures on the horizon. All I can say is that there are two well deserved (probably low calorie) drinks with our names on them once pool season is upon us!

In more interesting news, my son has recently added moon and night night to his vocabulary, while also getting a little bit better at not calling everything on his face an eye. He has gotten surprisingly good at following directions (when he wants to) and has figured out how to open the fridge and bring us the apple juice container when he’s thirsty. This kid has a love for the outdoors like I have never seen before, and I couldn’t be more grateful to have a backyard for him to frolic around in. Other than throwing our backyard rocks down the garbage disposal and crunching leaves all over the freshly swept patio, Liam’s favorite new past times have included dancing the most adorable of dances to any and all types of music, along with with a love for all things with four wheels. He points at airplanes and says “oooooooh!” and he can down a bowl of mac n cheese as though he’s in a food eating competition. We gave the potty a try the other day, but he thought that big porcelain bowl of water was the scariest thing he ever had to sit on… so we probably won’t be trying that again for a while.

As we enter this weekend, I look forward to my upcoming birthday celebration. I honestly could not tell you the last time that I had a night out with my friends and I am looking forward to it so very much. My blessing of a grandma is taking Liam for the night so that my husband and I can join our friends for a night of good food, good drinks, and good times. The reservations are set, my outfit has been picked, plans for the taxi that we will inevitably need have been made, and my nail appointment has been scheduled. All that comes between me and my celebration of 23 years of life is a few long week days, probably several rounds of dishes, a couple of homework assignments, and some dreaded workouts. But hey, it will make the days go by quicker… maybe? Kind of? Sort of? Probably not, but one can hope! In the meantime I will continue to fantasize about the cheat donut that I am going to consume the second I wake up on Saturday.

I’ve held my son hostage in his high chair for a few minutes too long now, and the second his strawberries are gone, I know the protesting will begin. With that, I will wrap this up and return to my mom duties/master chef dinner preparing duties with the pride of a blog post finally done!

Cheers,

T.W.C.

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One. One. One.

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Exactly one year ago, I was sitting on the couch watching a movie with my husband, when I suddenly felt that I was sitting in a puddle of wet. Overcome with embarrassment, I ran to the bathroom thinking that my “pregnancy bladder” had caused me to pee myself. It wasn’t until five minutes later when water was still dripping out of me that I realized I was in labor. My husband and I each took a quick shower, and scurried off to the hospital. I arrived at already 6 cm dilated. None of the nurses believed that I was in labor because of how calm I was, and they were even more shocked when they realized how close to being fully dilated I already was. 1 epidural and a few pushes later, my 6.5 lb baby boy was in my arms. This first year has been filled with every emotion on the spectrum, but most of all, it has been filled with happiness. Today is about celebrating an amazing first year of my son’s life, and surviving our first year of parenthood! Heres to many more.

Cheers,

T.W.C.

First year reflections

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My son’s first birthday is just a week away, so of course I’m feeling pretty darn sentimental. As he attempts to tackle my laptop, I can’t help but to be amazed that the tiny 6.5 lb boy that I brought into this world, is now walking around the house attempting to dig goodies out of the trashcan and destroy as many books as possible.

As his first birthday draws nearer, I find myself holding him for a few minutes longer each night before putting him in his crib. I stare at his tiny little baby feet and his plump baby thighs and I think of all of the grand hopes that I have for his future.

I hope that my son loves. I don’t mean that I hope that he loves his mickey mouse doll or that he loves going to the park. I mean that I hope that he grows up with the ability to truly love another human being with all his heart, and I hope that he has the strength to walk away from those that don’t love him back the way that he deserves.

Ihope that he surrounds himself with the right people. Looking back at my life, I often find myself wondering what path I would have gone down had I had different friends. The quote “you are who you surround yourself with” always comes to mind. The quote has always bugged me a little because I would like to think of myself as an individual who makes my own choices, however one of those choices IS who you surround yourself with. I strongly believe that I made the worst choices in my life when I was surrounded by the wrong people, and I made my best decisions when I was surrounded by happy, successful, and supportive people. I hope that my son has the ability to recognize who the “right” people are, and that he chooses people that will encourage him to be a good person.

I hope that my son is a hard worker. My husband and I often talk about how we do not want our son to be lacking of anything. We want to provide him with the best education, to get him involved in sports and activities, and we want to show him the world. I feel that there is a very fine line between providing for your child and spoiling your child, and I hope that my husband and I can raise him in a way that he knows that he can have the world, but he is not entitled to it.

I hope that my son is respectful. I hope that he grows to be a man of admiration. I hope that he is emotionally strong and level headed. I hope that he learns from his mistakes. I hope that he is charismatic and I hope that he is polite.

Most of all, I hope that we can teach our son to be all of these things. My biggest fear about having children was always the fear of being a bad parent. My son is only one and I feel as though I have already been faced with so many decisions regarding how I want to raise him. There are thousands of parenting “methods” out there, but I am beginning to feel more and more each day that the only “right” method is your own. And so I go into each day doing my best to demonstrate all of the things that I want my son to be. Children learn by example, and the best I can do for my son is be the example that he needs me to be.

My son will be one next week, and I am so very proud of who he is already becoming.

Cheers,

T.W.C.